Height limitations and architecture.
Air rights and density.
These terms have been thrown about in an almost continuous fashion for the past six months and developers are sure to feel their stomachs turn at another mention of ‘unlocking the potential of height.’
There are, however, numerous reasons for this current shift toward the heavens. Nationally, this includes the unlocking of air rights while internationally, it includes density issues and decreasing building footprints for environmental reasons.
However, just because architecture is moving upwards, it does not mean local planners and councils always encourage it.
Dutch architects recently had to do some incredibly innovative maneuvering in order to develop a design proposal that allows for maximum space under tight height restrictions.
Architectural firm MVRDV and investment corporation Sophia Sp. Z.O.O have been working together to design the plans for the ‘Baltyk Tower’ to be located in Poznań, Poland.
The building’s central location will put it at the mouth of the city, leading the development team to predict it will be a highly busy space. In order to maximise the prime location, the building has been planned as a mixed-use space, with 12,000 square metres of office space, 750 square metres dedicated to panoramic restaurant space, 1,350 square metres of retail space and three levels of underground parking.
What makes the proposal unique is the cascading glass façade of the building. Completely enveloped in vertical glass louvers, the façade is somewhat reminiscent of the art deco period with its soft angles and gridded translucent appearance. The excess of glass allow for flawless views over the city and neighbouring zoo, while the glass fibre cement louvers control solar gain and stop the building from developing its own greenhouse-like internal environment.
The soft undulating form allows the building to hit the highest points available under the restrictions. While it has received mixed reviews for its modern and unique aesthetic, work will begin on the site in 2014.
The building industry is moving upwards. Vertical is taking over, with architects continuing to unlock the potential of height even if this means getting creative with traditional building forms.